You don’t have to wait for their next season at the Joyce to catch the Trocks, aka Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, here in New York City. On November 15, Canadian director Bobbi Jo Hart’s ninety-minute documentary, Rebels on Pointe, opens at the Quad, an intimate look at the “the World’s Foremost All-Male Comic Ballet Company.” Founded in 1974, the Trocks specialize in parodying classical ballet and gender identity. “In the early years, the company was blackballed because of the gay element,” notes one troupe member, while another says, “I can be myself. I can wear tutus; why not? Little things change the world.” Named Best Documentary at several film festivals, Rebels on Pointe follows the troupe as it travels around the world, presenting its unique flair and talent, going behind the scenes and showing them perform onstage. “When that curtain goes up, it’s just electric,” another dancer declares. Hart (Rise, I Am Not a Rock Star) and members of the troupe will be at the Quad for a Q&A following the 7:00 screening on November 15.
Gibney Dance Performing Arts Center, Studio H
280 Broadway between Chambers & Reade Sts.
November 16-18, $20-$25, 8:00
California-based AXIS Dance Company is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with its debut New York City season, November 16-18 at Gibney Dance. The company, founded in 1987 by Thais Mazur, brings together performers with and without physical disabilities through artistry, engagement, and advocacy. Under new artistic director Marc Brew, AXIS will present three works in Gibney’s Studio H, featuring company dancers James Bowen, Lani Dickinson, Scotty Hardwig, Carina Ho, Dwayne Schuneman, and Yuko Monden. Brew’s Radical Impact, a collaboration with composer and pianist JooWan Kim of Ensemble Mik Nawooj, explores identity politics and what it means to be human. Amy Seiwert is reworking her 2013 piece, The Reflective Surface, with an original score by Darren Johnston, seeking to surprise the audience and challenge its expectations. The evening will also include an excerpt from 2015’s In Defense of Regret, an examination of interior landscapes choreographed by Maurya Kerr, Alex Ketley, and Bobbi Jene Smith, with music by Emily Adams and Matan Dasaki. In addition, AXIS will be curating a series of integrated technique classes November 14-17 ($20, 10:00 am) with Brew (11/14), Mark Travis-Rivera (11/15), Heidi Latsky (11/16), and Alice Sheppard (11/17).
For Performa 17, South African multidisciplinary artist Mohau Modisakeng has created ZION, a procession through Manhattan invoking his native country’s history of colonialism, apartheid, and violent displacement. Beginning at 11:00 on November 11, Modisakeng and twenty dancers, carrying personal possessions, will make their way from Mother Zion Church in Harlem, zigzagging down Malcolm X Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. and to Hotel Theresa. At 2:00 the march stops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and heads into Central Park, crossing the Great Lawn and Summit Rock. At 4:30, photographer, filmmaker, performance artist, and sculptor Modisakeng, whose previous work includes Passage, Metamorphosis, and Endabeni, will go from Anita’s Way public plaza to Times Square for a grand finale. The choreographed exodus equates what has happened in Cape Town’s District 6 and to Native Americans in Seneca Falls, New York, which was also the site of the first women’s rights convention, while also focusing on the current international refugee crisis.
ZviDance founder and artistic director Zvi Gotheiner concludes his trilogy about social interaction and technology with Like, making its world premiere at New York Live Arts November 8-11. Following 2010’s Zoom and 2014’s Surveillance, the new evening-length piece allows the audience to participate in the proceedings by using their cell phones to vote in a reality-television dance competition to determine the course of events and dancers. Choreographed by the Israeli-born, New York City-based Gotheiner, the work features eight dancers, a score by Scott Killian, lighting by Mark London, and media design by Joshua Higgason, with numerous cameras, computers, and screens following the action and providing resampled live streams, prerecorded news footage, and real-time interviews with the performers as well as members of the audience.
MetLiveArts / Performa ’17
Sunday, November 5, the Met Cloisters, 10:30 am to 4:45 pm
Sunday, November 12, the Met Breuer, 10:30 am to 5:15 pm
Sunday, November 19, the Met Fifth Avenue, 10:30 am to 5:15 pm
Free with museum admission
Eiko Otake began her “Body in Places” solo project shortly after her longtime partner, Takashi Koma, injured himself; the couple has performed as Eiko & Koma since the mid-1970s. The project has taken the Japan-born, New York City–based Eiko all around the world, where she moves in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors, wearing thick, heavy, ghostly makeup, dressed in a sackcloth-and-ashes-style kimono. She moves agonizingly slowly, a human intervention into the mass of humanity that swirls by such New York City locations as Wall Street, MoMA, St. John the Divine, the Fulton Center, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, and Governors Island. The piece was inspired by the tragic events at Fukushima, Japan, where she has performed as well, but only for cameraman William Johnston. MetLiveArts and Performa ’17 have now teamed up to present the forty-third, forty-fourth, and forty-fifth iterations of this “living installation,” as Eiko makes her way through the Main Hall of the Met Cloisters on November 5, the fifth floor of the Met Breuer on November 12, and Galleries 963–965 (Robert Lehman Wing, court level) of the Met Fifth Avenue on November 19. “Each of the buildings in the Met is its own place, each with different opportunities and limitations on how I can carry Fukushima into the museum,” she explains in a statement. “Because of this, I use a different approach in projecting images, a different choreography, and a different gaze in each place. At the Cloisters, I can project the video onto the stone walls and can move the image negotiating with the architecture, art works, and a sense of history. At the Met Breuer, I work in a nearly empty space on the fifth floor that allows me to move the projector fracturing the images. It is the least museum-like space. At the Met Fifth Avenue, the projection must remain stationary. So, the structure will be more meditative. I hope my insistent gaze will make my witnessing palpable and invite others to linger in the space.” The piece has also been performed at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, the Wesleyan library, Hong Kong, Chile, the Chicago Art Institute, Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Tokyo. And don’t hesitate to see Eiko at the Met, even if you’ve seen her before; not only is each performance different, but she also notes, “I was invited to perform at the Met, but like any other engagement, I don’t want to make my performance about just accepting an invitation. I have been working in such a way to make it necessary and urgent for me. Please come if you can, and if you cannot, please imagine me doing this marathon.”
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, November 4, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum celebrates the world’s preeminent borough in its monthly free First Saturday program in November with “Best of the Borough.” There will be live music by Alsarah & the Nubatones, Phony Ppl, and DJ Ian Friday; a curator tour of “Arts of Korea” with Joan Cummins; a hands-on art workshop inspired by Mickalene Thomas’s extraordinary “A Little Taste Outside of Love”; a scholar talk and book signing with Chip Colwell, author of Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture; a Brooklyn Dance Festival showcase with by the D.R.E.A.M. Ring, FLEXN, Kristin Sudeikis Dance, SynthesisDANCE, Concepts in Choreography, and the Francesca Harper Project; a pop-up gallery talk on Ancient Egyptian art; a book club reading with poet Tommy Pico from his latest book, Nature Poem; and a special screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 classic, Strike! with a live score conducted by Hisham Akira Bharoocha and featuring Angel Deradoorian, Jeremy Hyman, Nicos Kennedy, and Joe Williams. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making,” “Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt,” “Robert Longo: Untitled (Raft at Sea),” “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo,” “Arts of Asia and the Middle East, “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more.